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on 1 December 2012
This is a thorough and helpful guide to JavaScript language. Although its target audience is mainly web developers, all people with a basic understanding of programming may benefit from it since JavaScript is such a forgiving and loose-typed language.

Organizing a vast arsenal of objects, methods, properties and differences in major browsers' implementation (e.g. IE, FF) is not the easiest task to tackle. However, in my humble opinion, the author makes a sincere and successful effort. To that end there are many helpful tables and figures which either consolidate the relevant pieces of information or provide a graphical analysis of a complex subject, like for example the 'Prototype Pattern'. Also, common pitfalls and helpful hints are provided in abundance and pointed out in conspicuous bordered frames throughout the book.

The most helpful element though, are the succinct and to-the-point examples of code that follow each and every discreet section on a specific subject. Wherever there are possible ambiguities or peculiarities of the language, the author provides more than one example to utterly dissolve them. In most cases one can follow only the given snippets and understand completely the subject at hand, since they are almost self-explanatory.

Finally, this book provides an analytical table of contents at the beginning and a powerful index at the end, which allows for granular keyword-based searches. Finding what you want is almost as easy as hitting the Ctrl-F button to open a typical search field!
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on 17 January 2014
I have only recently purchased this book, but right from the beginning it explains really well the different aspects of Javascript. As a PHP developer I wanted to know more about Javascript and so far this book is perfect, far better than other books that I have read.

It is ideal for someone with experience in programming including Javascript, as it does go into more advanced Technics later in the book, but also great for someone to gain a better understanding of Javascript.

This is not a book for someone who has no prior knowledge of Javascript or other programming languages, especially if you have only a basic knowledge in CSS and HTML

I highly recommend this book.
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on 31 May 2013
This book gives a deep insight on how web has evolved into an amazingly powerful communication medium, from a technical perspective. More than a definitive guide to programming in JavaScript, Nicholas C. Zakas gives the reader a detailed and exciting insight into how the browser has revolutionized computer programming.

Zakas emphasizes that together, JavaScript, CSS and HTML5 allows curious minds, without formal programming training, to create powerful, scalable, interactive websites and web applications. He provides the reader with a detailed framework through explanation and examples that allows you to build up a picture of how all these bits fit together.

A remarkable book. Clear. Progressively revealing the information you need to know, and it is well illustrated by example code. Zakas writes in a clear, effortless style - maybe the Mozart of technical writers.
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on 16 December 2015
This is the best thorough book on the JavaScript I've ever read. Keep in mind, it will not teach you Patterns, namely, how to glue pieces together. This book is to learn what pieces are - it will cover all of them - but it will not teach you architecture of building from pieces. For that you'll need to read dedicated books on the subject such as JavaScript Patterns JavaScript Patterns and reference some code (I discovered very first release of famous libraries is an awesome way to learn, for example check out first version (0.3?) of reveal.js on GitHub).

Now onto the practical side. This book contains thousand pages and is three-finger thick. My dad helped to carefully cut it into 10 pieces, two-three chapters each and enforced the spines with transparent tape. I carry the piece I'm currently reading in a Snugpak A5 Snugpak Grab A5 Document Holder - Black - One Size. If you keep it real (I do), you need to carve considerable time to read all the thousand pages. Firstly, read while commuting. I read mine on the tube and carry the current piece rolled in my shell jacket's pocket. Secondly, read before sleep. Third, read during the lunch break at work. If you count totals, for example, morning: 0.5h train + 0.5h tube + 0.5h lunch + evening 0.5h train (tube's are busy in the evening so that's zero evening tube reading time), that's two hours. If you read for one hour before sleep, that's three hours reading and learning time EVERY DAY. If you live not alone, go to library on the weekend.

Coding advice. Some people recommend trying things on the command line while reading. That's OK if you have time to spare. I chose to delve straight into coding small npm libraries, referencing bevacqua and sindresorhus. Keep it real, code some tiny one page web apps that you need today. That can be anything. Keep in mind, your code will probably suck because you will not be using the patterns. Be prepared to recode. But don't worry - just make it work first, then read on architecture and refactor. It's encouraging because you see the result (no matter how anti-pattern). Another tip - use Atom editor, it has live linting plugin which alerts about any errors while you code (I tap JSHint through it). Some sources recommended WebStorm but I find it unwieldy, it's slow to set up. Also, get a MacBook Pro or, if short on money, a used MacBook Air. You'll need to learn the command line: use Git and run Grunt tasks on it. Windows DOS won't do.

Happy coding!
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on 10 December 2012
I needed a comprehensive reference as I had no experience of Javascript. I took five books out of the Library, and this was by far the best that I found. When the lending period expired and I had to return the book, I decided that it was worth having my own copy. I dip in and out of chapters and I feel it has helped me a lot. Javascript is not an easy language to learn, and other books were not as helpful for a beginner.
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on 5 March 2015
I have read very many programming books over the years. This must be up there with one of the best. I like the no-nonsense approach to delivering the information in a very clear way, it is thorough yet easy to read. What makes this so great is the initial explanation of a concept followed by a clear code snippet showing how the technique would work in practice followed by further analysis of details in the snippet which in my experience helped solidify the ideas. I had not really known too much javascript becore reading this book, this was definitely more my cup of tea getting straight into the details with ni gimmicks or easing you in gently like the 'Head first' style does. If you have some coding experience from any other language then just go straight for this if you want to learn JS.
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on 7 February 2013
Almost read the whole thing, and all I have to say is, look no longer, if you've been on the lookout for a decent book on JavaScript, this is certainly it. I'd even go as far and say I'll probably re-read it all over again just for the sake of it. I wouldn't particularly consider it a reference, I'd say David Flanagan's definitive guide might suit the description better. It shows, the author clearly grasps the subject and knows how to deliver it in a comprehensible and pleasant way. You'll read this book on the commute and back and surely won't be caught dozing off as Nicholas' writing-style is no short of captivating. Clear and concise explanations, meaty content, all you've been waiting for in a JavaScript book.
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on 26 October 2015
If there is an authoritative book in javascript then this is it!
Hands-down the best javascript guide money can buy!
Zakas has truly a gift in writing and his style is so easy and accessible like a friend of yours who knows you for much of your life trying to put new concepts in your head in a way that he/she knows you can easily understand. Simply magical.

The only issue I faced with the book was the sheer volume of its pages which made it difficult to carry around. However I was more than compensated due to its quality content.

Higly recommended!
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on 24 February 2013
This book contains more information than you could shake a stick at !

It is written based on actual experience working with Javascript in the real world . The information is presented in what I would call a 'Transfer of Information ' style, kind of like a brain dump rather than any thing else. The example code is kept short and what's more each and every snippet is explained thoroughly in detail.

I've read the 'Definitive Guide' which is touted as being the JavaScript Developers 'Bible' but I found 'Pro JavaScript' to be just as comprehensive and useful. It's actually better since it describes things more thoroughly and explains /why/ you need to know things. It goes far beyond the actual Syntax and describes how the language is used in real life, eg. Inheritance and OOP.

In essence this book provides much more of a tutorial than a reference , which is where its real value lies. It covers the topics in exquisite detail and the author has been meticulous even to the point of obsessive in his coverage. Whilst reading it, you will feel like you are in the presence of a JavaScript guru with a genuine intent to teach what he knows

There is also a lot of fascinating information about browsers 'quirks', how browsers and the WWW evolved, and things you need to be aware of in general.
I don't think I found one typo in the whole book.. that's quite unusual !

So in summary this is a very good value, well rounded JavaScript book that I would recomend to any one who is commited to getting up to speed Developing the Web.
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on 30 December 2012
Bought this book hoping to learn something extra and it delivered on all counts. I'm certainly nowhere near finishing it but i've found so many things in it that when I go back to other books I have on the same subject, they now make more sense. This is because "this" book explains stuff fluidly and precisely. I learn't more about Functions than I did from numerous other books or from the internet. Highly advise anyone serious about this subject to purchase it.
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